LG KM900 Arena review: A touch of class
Rich connectivity options
Wireless connectivity support is abundant in the LG Arena. Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE is on board and so is the HSDPA 7.2 Mbps.
The phone also supports the two local connectivity standards - Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The Bluetooth version is 2.1 with A2DP support for stereo streaming and 802.11b/g for Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi options have a simple interface - you choose the desired network, type the pass key and voila - you're connected. Of course there are plenty of advanced options available for the geeks out there. The last and most important thing is that every installed Java application which requires internet access prompts you to choose between UMTS and Wi-Fi, which is great option.
The proprietary universal connectivity port has a lot of work to do. You use it to connect the charger or a USB cable. Speaking of USB, Mass storage mode is also supported so you can use the phone as portable memory storage.
Quite uncommonly for LG, the internal memory (all the 8 gigs of it) gets listed as a second removable drive along with the memory card contents. We were also impressed that the Arena can even receive calls when in this mode.
Synchronizing PIM details is done through the LG PC Suite that comes on the bundled CD.
The provided headset is stylish and uses the standard 3.5mm audio jack but you can also opt to plug in your favorite pair of headphones but you'll lose the mic, which is embedded on the original pair.
An optional TV-out cable can also be plugged into the connectivity port as the Arena supports the feature. PAL and NTSC are supported, so it should work on most TV sets.
Multi-touch web browser, but still no Flash
The browser is decent, almost identical to the one on the Renoir and Prada 2. Unfortunately, scrolling and panning is a bit jerky and not really that fluid. Thanks to the multi-touch implementation however, the Arena delivers where other browsers fail - the legendary 'pinch' zoom the iPhone made popular.
Loading speeds are not admirable as well. On Wi-Fi the LG Arena browser takes a bit more time to fully load a page than the iPhone's and you can't really pan around while the page is still loading.
The multi-touch zooming has been tweaked from the latest LG Prada phone and the pre-release unit we had and now it takes less time than before. There still is an annoying lag but at least the actual zooming is more accurate and does not interpret the gestures wrong. It's not as fluid as the iPhone but still does an ok job.
The controls don't auto-hide and the only option to make them disappear is to turn on the full screen view from the browser menu or rotate the phone to landscape. There the accelerometer comes into play and does its job pretty well.
A useful feature is that you can have two pages open at the same time in tabs and switch back and forth between them. Saving pages for offline viewing is another thing that you'll probably use quite often.
Another handy browser skill is searching web pages for specific words - the first match gets highlighted and the total number of matches is displayed with up and down buttons for switching between them.
A visual enhancement of the plain browsing history list is the option to view snapshots of the pages you've visited. You can flick between the pages and tap to open the one you are looking for.
Unfortunately, desktop YouTube watching is a no-go, as the browser lacks full Flash support. But, as we already pointed out in the video section of this review, you can go for the mobile version of YouTube found at m.youtube.com once you setup your streaming settings.